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Teaching an Undergraduate Flight Dynamics Class for Three Semesters During PhD Studies to Prepare for an Academic Career

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Student Division Technical Session 2

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Dipanjan Saha Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

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Dipanjan Saha earned his Bachelors in Instrumentation Engineering and Masters in Control Systems Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India. He is now pursuing his PhD in Aerospace Engineering with Dr. John Valasek at Texas A&M University, College Station. His career goal is to become a professor. At Texas A&M he has served as the instructor of record for the undergraduate Flight Dynamics class in Spring 2016, Fall 2016 and Fall 2017. Dipanjan has also served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for four courses - Dynamics, Flight Dynamics, Numerical Methods, and Digital Flight Control at Texas A&M. He has worked with the Center for Teaching Excellence at A&M to mentor new teaching assistants during a university-mandated training program for several semesters. He has completed the certificate program called 'Academy for Future Faculty' hosted by the Center for Teaching Excellence for graduate students interested in an academic career. Dipanjan's research interests are in the theory and applications of nonlinear multiple-time-scale control. He has been a student officer of the A&M graduate student chapter of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), and a member of the Aerospace Graduate Student Council at Texas A&M. He is a student member of the following professional organizations: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) and American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

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This paper describes the author’s learning experience as the instructor of record for a junior-level flight dynamics class for three semesters during his PhD studies at the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University, College Station. This experience is extremely valuable to prepare for a career in academia. The author did not come from an undergraduate background in aerospace, so to prepare for teaching the course he learned the material by taking the flight dynamics class in Spring 2015 and grading for it in Fall 2015. The first two semesters of teaching were part of the Graduate Teaching Fellows program hosted by the College of Engineering. The class size was a small section of nine students in the Spring of 2016 and increased to 66 in the Fall of 2016. In the Fall of 2017 the author taught a section of 32 students as a Graduate Assistant Lecturer of the department. This paper demonstrates how the author implemented the theory of integrated course design in his teaching practice. A list of situational factors related to the course context, student background and instructor background is presented. It is shown how the situational factors led to the choices of the learning outcomes, assessments and teaching strategies. How students responded to these choices and how those responses were used to teach the course better are explained. From student performance and feedback it can be concluded that students were able to demonstrate effective learning of the intended outcomes as each semester progressed. Moreover, student responses indicated that they enjoyed the process of learning through the different activities planned for the course.

Saha, D. (2018, June), Teaching an Undergraduate Flight Dynamics Class for Three Semesters During PhD Studies to Prepare for an Academic Career Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31047

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